Global Chief Compliance Officer
How has your professional background served you in your role at the Vision Fund?
I knew I wanted to be a lawyer in an international setting from a young age, so after working as a lawyer in private practice and doing a stint as an investment banker in Australia, I made a move to London for my master’s in law. Shortly after, I took a position as general counsel in the hedge fund industry. After 10 years working in London before, during, and after the financial crisis, I joined Blackstone as its head of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance for EMEA. My tenure as a general counsel and my time at Blackstone allowed me to gain a commercial understanding of the complex legal and regulatory issues facing the financial services industry. In a post–financial crisis environment, the ability to interpret, analyze, and implement regulations became a key aspect of my work—as was partnering with the business to implement appropriate systems, controls, culture, and conduct. In my role at SoftBank Investment Advisers, I now have the opportunity to bring all my knowledge and skills from my previous roles into my role as global chief compliance officer in respect to our management of the Vision Fund.
What does your role as head of compliance entail?
My role is to ensure that the firm has the appropriate systems, controls, and conduct frameworks in place, and that our staff understands and takes ownership of adhering to all laws and regulations globally in every aspect of our business. As the chief compliance officer, I maintain a transparent relationship with all of our global financial regulators. I also have to anticipate changes in the global regulatory framework and developments in our business strategy so that I can interpret new and evolving rules and identify issues to advise the business on appropriate solutions, as well as to make appropriate risk-based decisions. Having a deep understanding of both the companies and the founders we are investing in, and partnering with them as they develop their respective compliance and conduct frameworks, will be important— particularly as our portfolio continues to grow in jurisdictions all over the globe.
At the Vision Fund, we believe that technological development can be for the betterment of everyone.
What’s your perspective on how to ensure ethical technological development?
At the Vision Fund, we believe that technological development can be for the betterment of everyone. One key factor in serving the greater good through technology is making sure that it is globally accessible for all. Companies need to continue asking ethical questions like, Is this helping to remove barriers, or adding to them? This is something that we take very seriously in managing the Vision Fund, because we understand that we have a responsibility both to our portfolio companies and to the global community at large. In addition, I believe that, with the breadth of perspective that we have at the Vision Fund, we can play an important role in shaping the appropriate development of regulatory frameworks that will apply to the technology sector.
Describe the core principles that remain central to you in your role.
There are two that come to mind. The first is a strong moral compass. Working as a lawyer has helped me establish a clear sense of what’s right and wrong. The second is having good commercial and regulatory judgment and not shying away from managing risks. These two key qualities have positioned me to thrive in the Vision Fund’s fast-paced environment in terms of both the business’s rapid growth and the pace of technological development in general. I am able to execute appropriate risk-based decisions to further the business while still keeping it within the boundaries of the law and regulation.
Is there anything people might be surprised to learn about you?
Contrary to what people might have in mind about someone in compliance, I have a strong spirit of adventure! In 2016, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. I’d never done any hiking before, so I bought all the gear and trained for three months in London. I wasn’t used to the high altitude, but I reached the summit and had one of the most memorable experiences of my life. And since I already had all the gear, I figured I might as well do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, in Peru, and the Tiger’s Nest, in Bhutan. I love seeing and experiencing different countries and cultures around the world and challenging myself in the process.